23:00 Moderate earthquake shakes Northeast:
K Anurag reports from Guwahati: An earthquake of moderate intensity rocked parts of North East including the region's main city Guwahati at 10:15 tonight.
According to sources the intensity of the earthquake has been measured at 5.5 in the Richter Scale. The epicenter lies near Monoya in Myanmar. There was no report of any loss of life and property due to the quake from any part of the region.
22:21 4 Metro stations near India Gate to remain shut:
Four Delhi Metro stations near India Gate will remain closed from Sunday morning till further orders, authorities have said.
Gangrape protestors, who rocked Raisina Hills on Saturday, have planned a bigger agitation on Sunday at the India Gate.
21:31 'Saara youth yahaan hai, Rahul Gandhi kahaan hai?':
Priyanka reports from India Gate: Seen here are a couple of hundred people holding banners seeking maximum punishment for the rapists.
Most of the protestors are of the view that the rapists must be punished in such a way that it should act as an example. In the meanwhile, mashaals have replaced candle lights at the India Gate. Only a few hundred are still shouting slogans near the India Gate.
A major protest has been planned on Sunday at 11 am at the same venue. Another interesting slogan says, "Saara youth yahaan hai, Rahul Gandhi kahaan hai (The entire youth is here. Where is Rahul Gandhi?)'.
20:23 Gangrape case: Govt announces judicial commission:
Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde, accompanied by I&B Minister Manish Tewari and Home Secretary R K Singh, is addressing the media at the moment. He says that the government is extremely serious about the Delhi gangrape case and has also issued orders of suspension of the police personnel who were found lax in their approach in the case.
The government also announced formation of a judicial commission and declared a slew of measures like installation of GPS devices in every public transport vehicle. It will also be made mandatory for every public transport driver to carry valid ID cards.
However, there is no need for a special Parliament session now, Shinde added. No guilty will be spared, Shinde also said.
19:58 PM approves new measures for security of women:
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh (@PMOIndia) tweeted: PM has approved new measures for security of women in the Capital. The Home Minister Mr Shinde will soon share the details with media.
19:47 Inquiry commission to be set up:
A commission of inquiry will be set up to go into the gangrape incident in the national capital, official sources said.
The rape law to be made stringent. Inquiry to be headed by a retired judge, sources added.
19:42 Message from India Gate: 'Sonia, Sheila hai hai!':
Priyanka reports from India Gate where protestors from across the national capital have gathered to demand justice for the 23-year-old gangrape victim. At the India Gate, people are still holding on to banners and their spirits.
Two 19-year-olds, Md Sohail Ansari and Siddharth Dagar are clear that they want justice. They want some concrete steps to be taken. "Those who have committed this should be so severely punished that people should feel scared before even thinking about committing such a thing in the future,' says Sohail. They want an example to be set. "We want justice,' says Siddharth.
Both are students of Dayal Singh College and are tennis players.
However, the numbers at the India Gate seem to be waning off. There are now only a few hundred protestors now. Even the police deployment here seems to be relaxed now.
Also heard are slogans, 'Sonia Gandhi hai hai! Sheila Dikshit hai hai!' The most heard of words at India Gate right now are 'We want justice'; and 'phasi do'.
Image: Protestors with banners at the India Gate
19:14 Sonia seeks immediate action in gangrape case:
Congress president Sonia Gandhi has spoken to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and sought immediate action in the gangrape case and appropriate measures to protect the victim.
Meanwhile, the high level meeting to discuss ways to tackle the Raisina Hills outrage and gangrape case has ended. Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde is expected to brief the media soon.
Students protesting against the gangrape of a young girl in a moving bus clashed with police near the VVIP gate of Parliament this evening, following which personnel used force to disperse them.
A large number of protesters at the Raisina Hills tried to round up policemen who were boarding the bus at Vijay Chowk near the VVIP Gate of Parliament House, forcing the police team to use force to disperse them. Some protesters threw water bottles at police, who forced the people towards Rail Bhavan on Raisina Road.
18:48 'Shinde should meet protestors and not PM':
Condemning police action against students protesting the gangrape of a young girl, former Delhi High Court Chief Justice Rajinder Sachar today said this showed insensitivity of the government.
He demanded that either Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde or Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit should meet protesters.
Sachar said public knows that there is no "instant solution" to the problem but Shinde or Dikshit should meet the protesters and assure them that they will do whatever is needed and they are conscious of their demands.
"Look at the way our children are treated. Is this the way? Protesting children are handled in a brutal way. In democracy, this is not the way a protest is handled.
"Shinde is meeting Prime Minister to discuss this. He should meet the protesters now and not the Prime Minister," Sachar said.
Sachar's response came as police resorted to use of force and water canons besides lobbing teargas shells to disperse a crowd of over 10,000 students at Raisina Hills, the seat of power, protesting against rape incident and demanding stringent punishment for the attackers.
18:17 Police crackdown continues; Raisina Hills cleared:
As the police crackdown continues, thousands of protestors are now forced out of Raisina Hills towards India Gate and nearby areas. The police have managed to clear the VVIP Raisina Hills area.
Complete chaos continues Many protestors have been injured in the lathicharge. While the numbers of protestors are increasing by every minute, the government has appealed for calm.
17:09 Delhi gangrape: Unrest simmers at Raisina Hill:
The number of protestors at Delhi's Raisina Hills, demanding justice for the gangrape victim and better security measures for women in and around the national capital, has been consistently swelling.
Unrest simmers after a lull of few hours.
RAF personnel are manning the barricades.
16:41 All gangrape accused arrested, says Delhi Police:
Deputy Commissioner of Police (Delhi South) Chaya Sharma is presently briefing the media on the latest developments in the bus gangrape case.
The police says that all the accused in the case have been arrested.
16:21 Ensure sense of security in Delhi: PM to Shinde:
JUST IN: Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde has briefed Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on gang-rape issue.
PM has asked Shinde to ensure that there is sense of security in Delhi and all steps are taken to see there is no recurrence of such incidents, sources said.
15:51 China opens $962 million border railway with Kazakhstan:
China has opened a $962 million second cross-border railway with Kazakhstan today.
The rail line comprised of 292-km section in China and the remaining 293-km section in Kazakhstan. They were joined at the Korgas Pass in Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region.
Construction of the Chinese side of the railway cost $962 million, railway officials said.
The rail line is expected to ease the burden of the Alataw trade pass, where the first China-Central Asia railway traverses. It handles 15.6 million tonnes of train-laden cargo a year.
Industry observers expect the Korgas pass, which now connects China and Kazakhstan by a railway, a highway, and an oil pipeline, to handle 20 million tonnes of cargo a year by 2020 and 35 million tonnes a year by 2030, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.
The railway launch followed the meet of Chinese Vice Premier Wang Qishan and his Kazakh counterpart Kairat Kelimbetov in Astana earlier this month, vowing to enhance bilateral cooperation in energy, trade, communication and other fields.
15:09 Philippines typhoon death toll 'likely to hit 1,500':
The death toll from a typhoon that devastated the Philippines earlier this month will likely hit 1,500, making it the second deadliest since the country began keeping records, the civil defence chief said today.
Benito Ramos said that so far they had counted 1,067 dead with more than 800 still missing after Tyhoon Bopha hit the southern island of Mindanao on December 4.
"It (the death toll) will go higher. But let us not assume the missing are already dead," he told AFP, estimating fatalities at "about 1,500" but adding that the search for the missing continued.
The toll from Typhoon Bopha is expected to easily exceed the 1,268 confirmed dead after Typhoon Washi struck the southern Philippines in December 2011, he said. If the toll reaches 1,500 it would make it the second deadliest storm to hit the Philippines since 1947, when the Philippines began keeping records a year after independence.
15:07 Barfi! out of Oscar race:
Ranbir Kapoor-Priyanka Chopra starrer Barfi! is out of Oscar race after it failed to qualify for the next voting round in the best foreign film category, according to the Academy.
The film, which revolved around the love story of a deaf-mute boy and an autistic girl, played by Ranbir and Priyanka, was India's entry to the Oscars this year.
Released on September 14, the film was lauded by the critics as well as audience.
It turned out to be another disappointing year for India at the Oscars. In the past, only Aamir Khan starrer Lagaan in 2002, Mira Nair's Salaam Bombay!in 1989 and Mehboob Khan's Mother India in 1958 have managed to earn nominations in the foreign film category without registering any wins.
Out of the 71 films that have qualified for the Oscars from across the world, only nine films are advancing to the next round of voting.
The shortlist will be winnowed down to the five nominees by specially invited committees in New York and Los Angeles.
The films that have made it to the list are Michael Haneke's much lauded drama Amour from Austria, Kim Nguyen's War Witch from Canada, Pablo Larrain's No from Chile, Nikolaj Arcel's A Royal Affair from Denmark, The Intouchables Olivier Nakache and Eric Toledano from France, Baltasar Kormakur's The Deep from Iceland, Joachim Ronning and Espen Sandberg's Kon-Tiki from Norway, Ursula Meier's Sister from Switzerland and Romanian film Beyond the Hills by Cristian Mungiu.
14:21 Rape victim better, optimistic about future: Docs:
The 23-year-old girl, who was raped and brutally assaulted in a moving bus in New Delhi last Sunday night, is "responding to treatment" and is "psychologically composed and optimistic about her future", doctors treating her at Safdarjung hospital said on Saturday.
"All her parameters are optimum except the levels of her total leukocyte, bilirubin and platelet counts. She is better compared to yesterday. She is communicating, more alert and more active from yesterday," Dr Verma, one of the doctors treating the girl, said in a press statement.
"She is psychologically totally composed and balanced. She is very brave and optimistic about having a good future. There
is showing no signs of sadness or grief," Dr Kuldeep and Dr Abhilasha Yadav of the psychiatric department of the hospital,
The doctors said "she has been given sips of water and apple juice since morning".
"She has also been administered four units of platelet rich plasma," the doctors said.
The plasma was administered in order to raise the levels of her platelet count which this morning was at 20,000 micro litre (mcL) of blood the doctors said.
Platelets are the tiny blood cells that help stop bleeding and its levels in a normal healthy woman is around 266,000 mcL.
The doctors said that due to the low platelet count there are chances of infection and in order to tackle that they are administering her antibiotics.
13:28 Actor Huma Khan jailed for assault, torture of minor girl:
Small-time Bollywood actor Huma Khan was sentenced to three-year imprisonment by a court in Thane for assaulting and torturing a minor girl, who worked at her house in Pune as a domestic help.
Additional Sessions Judge A Wagvase handed out the sentence on Friday to the 42-year-old actor on charges of abducting and subsequently torturing the 12-year-old daughter of her maid, for eight months in 2007.
The judge also imposed a fine of Rs 12,000 on Khan.
Police had arrested Khan in 2008 along with another accused in the case, Shamiuddin Shaikh, who allegedly raped the girl several times.
The court, however, acquitted Shaikh for want of sufficient evidence.
Additional Public Prosecutor Hemlata Deshmukh had sought maximum punishment for Khan.
The incident dates back to 2007 when Reshma, a Nepalese national, used to work as a housemaid with them at her residence in Mira Road here. In June that year, Khan shifted to Kailash Kanchan apartment at Undari in Pune, where Shaikh was also based.
13:09 Breaking barriers won't help: MoS Home RPN Singh:
Ten students have been injured and another police van was damaged in the fresh round of clashes at Raisina Hill.
Meanwhile, Minister of State for Home Affairs RPN Singh appealed to the protesters not to resort to violence.
"We have assured on the floor of House and every platform possible that strictest action will be taken against the accused. Police has been asked to show restraint but I want to tell boys and girls that breaking barriers won't help (to solve the issue)," Singh said.
12:30 'Smoking' poster lands Malayalam actor Mohanlal in trouble:
After actress Mythili, against whom the Health Department filed a case for appearing on a film poster smoking a cigarette, Malayalam superstar Mohanlal has also landed in trouble in a similar case.
A summon has been issued to Mohanlal by the Judicial First Class Magistrate in Thiruvananthapuram to appear in person on March 18 after the Health Department filed a case against him for appearing in a poster holding a cigar in the advertisement for his latest film Karma Yodha.
Summons has also been issued to the film's director Major Ravi, production company Manager and Managers of the three theatres where the film is being screened.
The case against Mythili, for appearing in the posters of the film Matinee smoking cigarette, is also being taken up on March 18, department sources said.
All posters of Mythili and Mohanlal showing smoking scenes have been removed from the city as they violated the stringent conditions imposed on advertisements for tobacco products, the sources said.
12:28 Cauvery issue: Jaya mounts pressure on Centre:
Stepping up pressure, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa on Saturday asked the Centre to notify the final order of the Cauvery tribunal for ensuring release of water by Karnataka to save withering crops in the state during this distress year.
"...this year we have been made to run from pillar to post to get our due share of water from Karnataka but, in spite of our efforts, Karnataka continues to utilise all the waters of the river Cauvery brazenly, as if it owns the river Cauvery, with scant regard to the plight of the lower riparian state," she said in her second letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in less than a week.
The final order of the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal should be notified without any further delay and the Cauvery Management Board and the Cauvery Water Committee put in place so that the final order could be brought to force, she said.
In her December 20 missive to Singh, she had requested him to expedite the Notification of the final order of the Tribunal and also to constitute the Cauvery Management Board forthwith "to safeguard the livelihood of the farmers of Tamil Nadu".
Jayalalithaa said the storage position in Mettur Reservoir has reached a "precarious" position and a "calamitous" situation prevails in the Cauvery-fed districts.
12:26 Delhi gangrape: Teargas used against protesters:
Police fired teargas shells and used water cannons as several hundreds of young students on Saturday marched towards Rashtrapati Bhavan for the second day demanding justice for the 23-year-old gang-rape victim.
A boy and a girl and a traffic policeman were injured as the police directed water jets and opened a volley of teargas shells that pushed them back a little even as some of the protesters braved the chill and waterbottles and shoes at the policemen.
Window panes of a police van were smashed. One of the girls broke the glass window of a bus with her hands.
The police action came as 'negotiations' failed at the Raisina Hill leading to Rashtrapati Bhawan failed and the protesters, comprising largely young women and men, tried to breach the barricades to push towards the Rashtrapati Bhawan.
The protest spot resembled a battle zone with empty shells and wet roads.
10:31 Italian marines held in Kerala fly home for X-mas:
Two Italian marines, arrested 10 months back for shooting dead two Indian fishermen, on Saturday flew back home for Christmas in a chartered flight, but will have to return within two weeks as per the court order.
The marines boarded the plane at 5:00 am, the Kochi airport authorities said.
The marines -- Massimiliano Latorre and Salvatore Girone -- secured their passports from Kollam Additional District Sessions court on Friday after submitting an unconditional joint undertaking to return to the state by January 10 and appear before the trial court in Kollam on January 15.
The Italians also executed Rs 6 crore bank guarantee as directed by the Kerala high court on Thursday allowing them to leave for two weeks, following which they sent necessary clearances.
The marines, were arrested on February 19 after they shot and killed two Indian fishermen -- Ajesh Binki (25) and Jelestine (45) -- off Alapuzha coast on February 15 from the merchant vessel 'Enrica Lexie.'
09:29 Mumbai local train trip to be costlier from Jan 1:
Beginning January 1, suburban train passengers in Mumbai will have to pay Rs 2 to Rs 4 more for the daily journey as the Railways have decided to increase the surcharge on suburban train services in the metropolitan.
According to a notification issued by Railways, the increased surcharge will be applicable from January 2013. The earning from surcharge will help railways to repay the loan taken for Mumbai Urban Transport Project.
The MUTP is involved in the upgradation of the rail network in Mumbai.
The enhanced surcharge will, however, not be applicable for travel up to 10 km or less. Tickets purchased before January 1, 2013 will also be exempted from the new surcharge.
The increased surcharge will be Rs 2 for second class ticket and Rs 4 for first class ticket.
The rate of monthly and quarterly season pass will also be increased by Rs 20 to Rs 80 due to the decision.
09:16 FBI stays mum about Sikh temple shooter Wade Page:
Two hundred investigative leads, 300 interviews, more than 200 pieces of evidence.
Yet when the Federal Bureau of Investigation announced the results of its expansive investigation into why Wade Michael Page, 40, killed six people at a Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Wis., its perspective on his motives consisted of four sentences.
"The FBI investigation indicates Wade Michael Page acted alone and was not assisted in committing this violent crime killing six and wounding four other victims," the FBI's statement said in November.
"No evidence was uncovered to conclude this attack was directed or facilitated by any white supremacist group. During the shooting at the temple, Page exchanged gunfire with two Oak Creek police officers seriously wounding one, before being shot by another officer, then turning his weapon on himself. There is also no evidence to suggest the attack was part of any ongoing threat to the Sikh community."Click HERE to read further
09:13 Raman Singh steals a march over UPA on food security:
The Raman Singh government in Chhattisgarh has stolen a march over the United Progressive Alliance government at the Centre by enacting the Chhattisgarh Food Security Act, 2012, which provides for food entitlements to all Antyodaya households, priority households and general households without prescribing any limit on the percentage of beneficiaries in the vulnerable social groups.
The Bill that was passed by State Assembly on Friday, seeks to provide 35 kilogram/per month of foodgrains to Antyodaya (poorest of the poor) families at Re 1 per kg, to priority (Below Poverty Line) households at Rs 2 per kg and 15 kg/month to general (Above Poverty Line) households at a rate of less than 50 per cent of the minimum support price of the grain.Click HERE to read further
09:10 Could mineral wealth transform Afghan economy?:
Three international energy firms have been shortlisted to develop lucrative oil deposits in northern Afghanistan.
It is hoped such deals could reduce dependency on foreign aid.
02:39 US sanctions Iranian companies: AP
reports: The United States today sanctioned four Iranian companies, including one accused of providing weapons to the Syrian regime's crackdown.
The Treasury Department said SAD Import Export Company shipped weapons to the Syrian Armed Forces on behalf of Iran's Defense Industries Organisation, which it accused of being used by the government to "assist" the Syrian regime's crackdown.
In 21 months, the anti-regime revolt in Syria has claimed more than 44,000 lives, according to monitors. SAD Import Export and two others, Chemical Industries and Development of Materials Group and Marine Industries Organization, were also blacklisted for their ties to Iran's Defense Industries Organization and its defense ministry.
And the director of the Marine Industries Organization, Mustafa Esbati, was implicated for his support to Iran's Aerospace Industries Organization, as was a fourth company, Doostan International Company.
01:52 Will try to resolve differences with Anna: AAP:
The Aam Aadmi Party will try to resolve its differences with Anna Hazare as the party came out of the anti-corruption movement led by him, AAP's national observer Dharam Singh Dabas said in Delhi today.
"Our party had been a part of Anna's movement but was in a different form then. Anna's movement was the progenitor of the Aam Aadmi Party," he said.
Referring to Anna's statement that party's convener Arvind Kejriwal had fallen prey to the temptation of power, Dabas said, "Anna is demanding Janlokpal and we too are asking for the same. We are fighting for the same cause. There might be some differences in the means to achieve the goal. We will have to talk to Anna to resolve these differences."
01:27 Obama made excellent choice by nominating Kerry: Clinton:
Observing that time and again John Kerry "has proven his mettle", US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton today said that President Barack Obama has made an excellent choice by nominating the Massachusetts Senator as her successor.
"Today, I spoke to Senator John Kerry and congratulated him on his nomination to be the next Secretary of State. I also spoke with President Obama and told him that he has made an excellent choice. I hope Senator Kerry will be confirmed quickly," Clinton said in a statement soon after Obama made the announcement at the White House.
Clinton, who is recovering from a stomach infection, was not present at the time of announcement.
01:02 Obama nominates Kerry as secretary of state:
US President Barack Obama today nominated Senator John Kerry as his next Secretary of State, noting his vast foreign policy experience makes him the "perfect choice" to guide the American diplomacy.
"Today I'm looking ahead to my second term, and I am very proud to announce my choice for America's next secretary of state: John Kerry," Obama said making a personal announcement at the White House, with Kerry standing by his side along with Vice President Joe Biden.
Sixty-nine-year-old Kerry, currently the chairman of the powerful Senate Foreign Relations Committee, has been a close confidant of Obama on foreign policy issues.
00:51 Why is FBI mostly mum about Sikh temple shooter?: LA Times
reports: Two hundred investigative leads, 300 interviews, more than 200 pieces of evidence.
Yet, when the Federal Bureau of Investigation announced the results of its expansive investigation into why Wade Michael Page, 40, killed six people at a Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Wis., its perspective on his motives consisted of four sentences.
00:47 Sexual assault victims, kin slam cops for inaction:
Police today faced flak from victims of sexual assault and their kin for their alleged inaction in such cases.
Some of the rape victims and their kin from Delhi and neighbouring areas gathered at the Jantar Mantar here to narrate the ordeal they faced and subsequent alleged inaction by police.
A woman from Narela, whose neighbour allegedly attempted rape on her four-year-old daughter, alleged that police refused to register a case when she approached them. Police today faced flak fromvictims of sexual assault and their kin for their alleged inaction in such cases.
Some of the rape victims and their kin from Delhi and neighbouring areas gathered at the Jantar Mantar here to narrate the ordeal they faced and subsequent alleged inaction by police.
A woman from Narela, whose neighbour allegedly attempted rape on her four-year-old daughter, alleged that police refused to register a case when she approached them.
The case was registered after three days foll
00:01 Delhi: Three-year-old girl raped in play-school:
A three-year-old girl was raped in a play-school in west Delhi, prompting the Delhi government to today ask the police to take stringent action against its principal.
The child was allegedly raped by the husband of the owner of the school on Monday in west Delhi's Sagarpur area, and the incident came to light two days later, police said.
After the incident, the victim got ill and her family members admitted her in a hospital where doctors informed them that she has been raped. The accused was arrested yesterday.